Wed Oct 9 12:00:10 EDT 1996
I just added the first two bands to the UNME Bands Page (see URL above): Rob Staples and Tripecac. They still need photos and sounds (right now only Tripecac's sounds work, and they are only mindless babbling, not songs), but the formatting is what's important.
Each band will get space on the UNME Bands Page to put a photo, four or five RealAudio songs, an email address, and a bio. The bio section can also contain "for more info..." links to larger pages.
The idea is that the UNME Bands page will provide an attractive, consistently formatted "abstract" (textual, visual, and audial) for each band. So pick your best songs, your best photo, and your tersist, most effective bio for this page and we'll worry about doing the longer, flashy pages later.
Wed Oct 30 20:01:26 EST 1996
EVERYONE: Alecto Orange has joined us (Spiral Theory); you should check out his songs on the Bands page if you haven't yet.
ALECTO: I'm curious to know more about your old band and your notorious last gig! I listened to your songs several times (once the other people in the lab left so I could crank up the sound):
"Fun" is my favorite; it's definitely the catchiest. I can't always hear what you're singing but that's okay, I'm a music person instead of a lyrics person myself.
"Rabbit" is nice and contemplative, and the juxtaposition of spacy effects w/ acoustic guitar definitely reminds me of Julian Cope.
"Revolution Now" seems a step towards mainstream, and doesn't really grab me as much as the first two.
I'm definitely anxious to hear more! Do you have a tape of your music? And how about one of your old band?
Alecto Orange email@example.com, http://www.coffey.com/~orange/discord1.html
Wed Oct 30 21:49:23 EST 1996
The lyrics to "Fun" are as follows:
First verse: 'Fun' repeated over and over.. Second verse: 'Guns' repeated over and over..
I added alot of effects to the end of it on the WWW-remix, the version on the demo tape is alot more intelligible.. Also, Rabbit has lyrics in the beginning of the song that do not appear in the WWW distribution, which is from the ending. 'Revolution Now' turned out alot different from what I had originally planned, but I think it has turned out to be one of my catchiest songs to date..
I have a demo cassette available, I'd put the whole damn thing online if I could but my Web access provider only allows 3 megs for personal web space. If they were in realaudio format, though..
Hmmm.. don't really know if I want to get into the details of that last gig here on the web (paranoid paranoia).. We did manage to play one song, though, and in my opinion it was the best performance of the band's history. Kind of like, the entire history of the band was summed up in one final climactic song. The other two guys who ere in the band with me were beer drinkers, they wouldn't touch anything else because it is "illegal" (even though at the time they were both under 21..) It was a cover of a Wipers' song, 'D7'... The next song we tried to play was 'Just what I needed" by the cars, but by then my antics had become too much for my fellow bandmates, and the bassist walked out in the middle of the song, followed by the drummer. I was left standing there alone saying 'Hey guys, come back! I was about to do something cool!" into the microphone. That's the way it goes, I guess. I've been trying to track down a copy of the concert on Videotape, I know it exists. Hopefully I can sample the one song we managed to play and send it up to the Web..
I have a demo tape available, anyone who's interested can send me email.. As far as music distribution is concerned, though, the WWW is my media of choice. It's convenient, fast, and best of all, it's FREE! (Well, okay, not free, but if you have untimed access like I do it's pretty damn cheap.)
Thu Oct 31 12:01:09 EST 1996
Do you have an extra-long bio about your musical self?
I used to write lots of stories in high school, and much of what I wrote about were my real-life experiences. Mostly they were "journal" entries I wrote to myself, or newsletters to an imaginary set of "Trav-fans," or papers I had to write for English class. But a lot deal w/ my musical history, and they are very interesting to me, but probably not to anybody else. Still, stuff like that would be pretty cool to have online, both as an ego-booster (everyone likes to read about themselves) and a "window to the soul" for other people.
So, have you embarked on similar documentation? It would be neat to have "shrines" to ourselves online. :) I'm guessing it would help boost our confidence and hopefully motivate us to "live up" to those old expectations, get us creating more and better.
How many hours a week do you spend writing, practicing, and performing music?
I've very much interested in hearing your tape. How long is it? Also, I'm a fan of the Wipers, so hearing that song would be cool too! Do you want me to put those online for you? How much does your tape cost?
Fri Nov 1 14:37:01 EST 1996
Some thoughts on the nature of UNME. Feel free to chip in! (Comments, not money, silly!)
I have noticed over the past few weeks that there are a number of online musical exposure agencies, such as:
- IUMA (very well known by now)
- Sonic State's Demo Page [broken link]
and a couple others.
They tend to be flashy, aggressive, and money-oriented. Businesses.
Well, I think UNME should be a little different, more tailored to casual, open minded, "developing" musicians. Yes, it can give you some exposure, but the target audience is other musicians and music appreciators, rather than the mindless, money-handed masses. A "writing group" for musicians.
For now (and this might change down the line), UNME's main function is to serve as a forum for feedback and discussion. We'll put our music on here for each other to listen to, so we can offer praise and suggestions. The goal is to get us to improve our musicianship, not just sell it.
Sure, word of mouth is a powerful thing. Someone might hear a band on UNME and recommend them to a friend, who recommends them to another friend, who happens to know the head honcho of a record label... That would be a lovely side effect, but isn't the main aim of UNME right now.
Yet, on the "exposure" side, I am all for UNME acting as a centralized distributor of tapes, CDs, and band info. It really depends on how much control people want to relinquish.
If someone has a tape of his/her band, but doesn't want to go through the bother of printing out covers and dubbing the tapes every time a friend asks for a copy, UNME could help them out by doing all the "busy work" for them.
There'd have to be a fee, since blank tapes and photocopies cost money, but if UNME can do things in bulk, it might be cheaper for a band to get their tapes "manufactured" through UNME rather than doing it themselves. Certainly it would free up the band's time to work on music rather than dubbing tapes.
But once money is brought into the equasion, people's hearts race and dollar signs fall over their eyes, blinding them to what's really important, which is the music. That's why I don't want to run around and "advertise" that UNME can act as a distributor, because I don't want to attract the type of people who are more concerned with making money than making music.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Once I get back home to my music and we move these pages to a new computer, I hope to be putting a lot of time UNME, so it'd be good to get these issues ironed out early on while it is still a baby!
See ya 'round!
Alecto Orange firstname.lastname@example.org, www.coffey.com/~orange/spiral1.html
Sun Nov 10 20:53:20 EST 1996
> Do you have an extra-long bio about your musical self?
Nope.. I made that one up on the spot when you asked for it :) .. I made a 'Spiral Theory FAQ', rather than a bio, kind of going about the same thing in a different way.
> How many hours a week do you spend writing, practicing, and performing music?
It varies- sometimes I'll go for a few weeks or so completely uninspired and I won't touch my guitar or my sound programs at all. Sometimes I lock myself in my room with a 4-track and my instruments for days on end.. I haven't performed since the breakup of my last band, due to a lack of fellow performers here in Wyoming. I could do an acoustic set, I suppose- I'm moving down to Texas at the beginning of 97 and I hope to start playing live again down there.
> I've very much interested in hearing your tape. How long is it? Also, I'm a fan of the Wipers, so hearing that song would be cool too! Do you want me to put those online for you? How much does your tape cost?
It would be cool to have that performance online, but my hopes for locating a copy of it are low. My tape's about 45 minutes long, I'd be recording even more stuff for it right now if it weren't for a broken circuitboard in my synth (doh!). I think I'm going to ask around $3-$5 for the tape..
> Well, I think UNME should be a little different, more tailored to casual, open minded, "developing" musicians. Yes, it can give you some exposure, but the target audience is other musicians and music appreciators, rather than the mindless, money-handed masses. A "writing group" for musicians.
> For now (and this might change down the line), UNME's main function is to serve as a forum for feedback and discussion. We'll put our music on here for each other to listen to, so we can offer praise and suggestions. The goal is to get us to improve our musicianship, not just sell it.
Like I'm sure any dedicated musician with web access would, I'm always looking for places that will help me out as far as helping me get exposure for my music. Places like this are rare, and are great for people like me who don't have a few hundred dollars just laying around to pay some greedhead for 6 months of web space on some corporate site.. You should look around for some more aspiring artists and have them join us in the festivities! (Heh..)
Mon Nov 11 10:29:54 EST 1996
I'll put out the fishing nets, for both UNME and Rail On, once we move this stuff to the new computer. Right now we are using a University computer, for "testing" these pages.
Thu Nov 21 07:50:13 EST 1996
Hi guys! I'm still getting moved in (trying to find a good ISP - what are your favs?) but soon I will be able to devote large chunks of my evenings to UNME, yay!
Some recent personal UNME-related insights:
Last night, I worked on my music! I actually recorded a two-guitar improv! It's not very good (I can't really play guitar) but it should serve as a "toe in the water" so I don't fret so much about having to perfect everything before I record it.
I think perhaps that is one of my problems: perfectionism, mixed with irregular attendance. Like a class you might take. If you missed lots of classes or slacked off early in the semester, there's a tendency to give up on the class completely, because there's no way you're going to earn an A+, or even give the class your "best effort" because you've already blown it. It's hard to fight at a class if you know the best you're going to get is a B.
Same with music. I have so many ideas welled up inside of me, both music and "business" related, that I start getting picky about what my output needs to be like. My expectations for The Next Song become tremendous. After so many months of unproductiveness, the Silence Breaker's gonna have to be a doozy!
That is why I threw together the song last night; it's an ice breaker. Heck, it's so weak that almost anything I commit to tape next will be acceptable. That is my plan at least. And I don't think I am alone in that strategy; Julian Cope has done similar seemingly self-destructive things in the past.
Anyway, what do you think?
p.s. [the web server] might be going down sporatically during the next couple weeks, so don't fret if you cannot connect to the UNME songs (which reside on thunder rather than on faraday).
Mon Dec 16 09:29:15 EST 1996
(This is a from a letter I wrote to my friend Luke):
This weekend I recorded 2 songs. The first one is a loosely jazz/rock whatever, so-so in my book; I just wanted to get it off my keyboard b/c it was taking up half the memory, and I didn't want to delete it so why not just record it? I polished it up as best I could but it's still a little aimless oh well.
The second song, however, is anything but ordinary! It's actually a slowed down version of the first song (from 115 beats per minute to 30) minus the melody. Then, I added some guitar (mostly me scratching the strings and occasionally hitting simple chords - all noodling), and, as a whim, for the last track (2 for stereo kybd, 1 for guitar), i just turned a mic on and recorded myself playing weird sounds through that old amplifier I used to use w/ [my old band].
It turned out pretty cool! Very mellow, very contemplative, very "emotional" sounding, which would be atypical for me, even though it was a total joke song from the start. But it clocks in at 14:30!!! The longest song I have ever recorded!
My point is that for a long time, starting the end of college, I had gotten into the habit of "honing" my songs until they were "suitable" for recording, a process usually spread out over several months! So by the time the songs got recorded (or deleted) they had lost all spontaneity, and were horribly watered down. Eventually I would do as I did this weekend, just get the song recorded so I wouldn't have to think about it anymore!
That "perfect, perfect, perfect... Fine, let's just get it over with" mentality is I think what killed my song writing enjoyment, and hence my productivity, over the past couple years.
But this weekend, working SPONTANEOUSLY on the ultra-slow version of that song, I felt some of the excitement, the joy come back. It was a niiiiccceee feeling, no matter how crappy that song turns out in the long run.
Mon Feb 10 12:38:00 EST 1997
Hi guys! I typed a big long letter to y'all but forgot to post it before being distracted by some other stuff and I ended up quitting Netscape, so all my text was lost. So, here's take two, an abbreviated version of the original text...
First of all, thunder.swa.com is still in limbo, waiting for an http server and CGI server. Once we get those I'll copy everything over, but it looks like it might be a while and so for now how about we just pretend faraday will be the "permanent" site, even though it isn't? I won't go so far as to announce it on the usenet and register it with the search engines, but feel free to tell any friends who might be interested in it.
Boring stuff over with, I recorded 2 more songs a couple weekends ago. They are short instrumentals that I needed to purge from my keyboard in order to make way for some fresh songs. These two are about a year old and crapola in my opinion.
The good news is that I only have 25 minutes left to fill on my current tape. The bad news is that I've given up hope of this tape being anywhere near as clever, listenable, and respectable as my last tape, The Hermit (1994).
It's depressing to work on a project you know is going to do no better than a B or C. I don't want to scrap it; I just want to get it over with so I can have a clean slate for the next one. Don't get me wrong - it doesn't totally suck, but it isn't The Hermit, even though it seems to try to be.
Is this how rock stars and authors feel when they have to write a follow-up to their masterpiece? I'm not saying The Hermit is an Achtung Baby or a Peggy Suicide, but it is my own personal peak.
[ At least that's how I view it. Others might say it's too cute or too ugly, too vanilla or too weird, too much talking or not enough talking, etc. I don't know what they think of it as a whole because no one except me has listened to it end to end. All I know is that they like more songs off it it than off of any of my older tapes. ]
Which brings me to my questions:
- Have you had similar follow-up fretting?
- Do you sometimes worry that your best work is behind you?
- What would it take for you to be able to make an album with which you could be happy and proud?
- What could UNME do to help you realize your goals?